Spirulina, Blue Green Algae…ymmmm!

By Cynthia Brace

Spirulina is one of my favourite superfoods.  I’ve been using it for over a decade (wow…I felt old there for a sec :)) If you know my story at all you know I had Hypoglycemia and my doc (at the time) flat out said she couldn’t help me with it.  Well on my path to figure out for what could help I ran into this wonderful green algae.  I know it sounds gross but let me tell ya this stuff is great!  

Not only can it help balance your blood sugar (which is needed for hypoglycemia and diabetics for that matter ) it also:

  • Is packed with protein.  It has one of the highest densities of protein found in any food and contains all of the essential amino acids (making it a complete protein) so it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians.
  • It’s high in Chlorophyll which has the ability to remove toxic metals from your body.  It also helps remove germs from your body, is alkalizing and helps digestive function.  Got bad breath or foul smells from your bottom end?  Chlorophyll can help with that too.
  • Another good thing for vegetarians or people with anemia (low iron) that is that Spirulina is super high in iron.  It’s easily absorbed and as an added bonus – non-constipating.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard of Omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s before.  The omega 3 and 6 are deemed “essential” because your body can’t make them which means you have to get them through food.   Most people get enough omega 6 and 9 through food sources but a lot of people miss out on the omega 3’s.  Spirulina has all three omega’s and is especially high it Omega 3.
  • Its super high in calcium (26x more than a glass of milk) and is a great source of other things like B-vitamins.
  • Looking for a little body fat loss?  Spirulina can help it can increase the duration of your workouts and the amount of fat you can burn (source)…cool huh

So what the heck is it?

Spirulina, yup is a natural algae (actually cyanobacteria).

The name Spirulina comes from the Latin word for “helix” or “spiral” which denotes the physical aspects of the organism when it forms swirling microscopic strands (source).  The use of spirulina as a food source dates all the way back to 9th century Chad, Africa and it is believed spirulina was used by the Aztecs in 16th century Mexico (source).

It’s found freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds.  It likes places that have moderate temperatures and very high levels of sunlight.

When you do decide to pick some up, be sure to get an organic product that’s free from fillers or additives.  Do a little research on the product you’re interested in so you know it’s coming from a good source.  FYI products are usually manufactured in controlled environments and don’t come from regular lakes, rivers or ponds.

How do you eat it?

You can get Spirulina in capsule form, crunchy tablet form or powder.

Personally, I use the powder and put my daily dose in my shake.  You can have it alone in a glass of water but I wouldn’t really recommend it because….it actually does taste like pond scum if you drink it like that.

Follow the directions on the brand you buy and build up to the full dose.

As always, if you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements.

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